What’s in the Box?


Inspired by DEN STAR Kim Miller, I checked out STEMbites on Youtube. I was excited to find these short, informative STEM videos. We are learning about shapes and the STEMbites: Shapes and Their Attributes was the perfect fit.

After watching the video I passed out 6 index cards and a length of masking tape to each child. I asked them to create their own box, or rectangular prism as it is called. I played the video a few more times while they worked. Many of the children decided to decorate the index cards before putting their box together. The children were given one index card cut the size of one square end and most had no trouble cutting the second one and putting the box together. The part that surprised me was as soon as the children made the box, they began to talk about what they were going to put in the box. I hadn’t thought of this, but what a creative extension to the lesson! A few students went one step further and added latches or locks to their boxes. These were created with the leftover index card pieces and tape.

This information is also posted on the Class Create Website. http://classcreate.weebly.com

The DEN on ICE

I had an excellent adventure attending the ICE Conference in February. This was my second year attending and it only got better. I learned a great deal, but the BEST part was meeting up with so many DEN friends! I instantly felt part of the group and it truly made the conference even more amazing. I enjoyed the DEN meet up Thursday evening, and enjoyed connecting with these DEN-mazing educators.

One of my “Wow”s from the Conference was understanding the Apps within Google Drive. I had no idea! For those of you in the dark like I was, here is the link to the presentation by Tammy Lind. The short version is when in Google Drive, click Create, scroll down to Connect More Apps and then WOW! I am excited about Pow Toon, Movenote and Real Cube to start. I would love to hear what Apps others are using and how they are using them in the classroom. I have not shown my students the Apps yet, as I want to make sure I know all I need to know before I open that box. Plus I want to introduce the Apps with a cool Pow toon presentation.Again, advice from those in the know is most welcome!

A second “WOW” was initially not techie at all. Greg Tang, author of many children’s books with a math theme, spoke and used as his presentation tool a document camera, paper and a black pen. That’s it. He never even got to the tech in the his first presentation and we were all captivated and listening to every word. I stayed for his second presentation and when he did get to the Tech it did add another “WOW”. His website gregtangmath.com has wonderful math games that Greg Tang created that get kids thinking about numbers decomposing them, looking for patterns, and THINKING. Funny Numbers is his way to teach regrouping that makes sense. As someone who has sung and danced to help kids understand regrouping, Funny Numbers is a gift! Kakooma, another game he created has students race to complete the puzzles using addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. While Kakooma is sold as an App, it is free on the website as are all of his games along with interactive versions of his books. My second graders, who are usually quite wiggly during the last 20 minutes of the day (okay they wiggle ALL afternoon) were engaged and attending as we read Math-terpieces and tried to find the number combinations. I introduced gregtangmath.com to all of my tech lab students and it is a hit at all levels!